Beginning at verse number 4, where the Bible reads, "Now consider how great this man was and whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And barely they derived the sons of Levi have a commandment today tithes of the people according to the law, that is of their brother and though they come out of the loins of Abraham. But he used to sent is not counted from them receive tithes of Abraham and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction, the less is blessed to the better and here man that die receive tithes but there he receive at them of whom it is witness that he live it." Now, I want to preach about this morning is the subject of tithing. It's interesting because the very first time the tithe is mentioned is back in Genesis 14, now if you would turn there to Genesis 14. What's interesting is that the first time tithing is mention is Genesis 14, and the last time that tithing is mentioned in the Bible is in Hebrews chapter number 7, and they're both talking about the exact same event.
They're both talking about the same story. It's almost like the subject comes full circle in the Bible. In Hebrews chapter 7, what we just read talked about how Abraham gave tithes unto Melchizedek. Now, in the chapter there in Hebrews 7, the bible teaches that Melchizedek was Jesus Christ. It says that he was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life but made like unto the Son of God. [inaudible 00:01:27] old testament a parents of the Lord Jesus Christ. It talks about the fact that first Abraham gave tithes unto Melchizedek, but then later Levi, the tribe of Levi would receive tithe from the children of Israel, but that now, we're no longer under the Lovitical priesthood but now we're under the priesthood of Melchizedek with Jesus Christ as the high priest. Now, look at Genesis chapter 14, this is the first time the tithe is mentioned in the bible.
It says in Genesis 14:18, "And Melchizedek king of Salem," which will later be called Jeru Salem, right? "Melchizedek king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine. He was the priest of the Most God High, and he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth. And blessed be the Most High God, which had delivered thy enemies into thy hand." and he gave him tithes of all." This was a priest unto the one true God, a priest in the Lord, before Erin, before the tribe of Levi was given that office of being priest. Abraham gave him tithes of all. Now, go to Genesis 28:22. You say, what is the word tithe mean? Tithe simply means a tenth, like 1/10. It says in Genesis 28:22, "In this stone which I've set for a pillar shall be God's house. And of all that thou shall give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee." When Jacob sets up Bethel, which Bethel is Hebrew for The House of God, he sets it up, he calls it Bethel, he said, "This place is going to be the house of God, and I am going to give 1/10 unto the Lord."
Go if you would to Leviticus chapter number 27. Leviticus chapter 27. What is tithing? Basically tithing is giving 1/10 of that what you posses unto the Lord, giving 1/10 of your money unto the Lord. Giving 1/10 of your goods unto the Lord. Now, you might come to church this morning and say, "Oh, you know the pastor is talking about money I'm never coming back." You know what? Then never come back. Because you know what? The bible talks about this and you need to be ready to hear preaching from any part of God's word on any given Sunday. People get angry about this, angry about that, I'm going to preach the whole Bible and whatever offends people then don't let the door hits you on your way out. Because this doctrine of tithing has come under attack recently and if you notice who's behind the attack on tithing? It's people who are against going to church at all. Most of the people that you see that are saying, "Oh, tithing's unscriptural. Tithing's not in the Bible. Or tithing is an Old Testament doctrine." Are people who are telling us to forsake the local church and to just meet in "houses" like they did in the book of Acts.
Of course in the book of Acts, the early church started out with 120 people in it which is about what we have here this morning. I don't know about you but I can't fit this group in my house. Who here has a house big enough to fit this assembly today? Who wants to meet, we'll meet at- don't raise your hand because we'll meet at your house next Sunday. You got to be careful. Nobody has a house big enough to house 120 people, but not only that, in the book of Acts chapter 1, they had a 120 people. In Acts chapter 2, they added 3,000. Do the Math, that's a pretty big house, so don't tell me, "Oh, they just met in the house back then." No, they had a 120 people all with one accord in one place then they added 3,000, then they added 5,000, then it says they multiplied greatly. We're talking about a huge church there in Jerusalem. Nothing wrong with the church meeting in the house, in fact Faithful Word Baptist Church started out meeting in my house for the first year and a half.
Brother Romero's going to start church in Fort Worth, he's probably going to start meeting in the house. Brother Jimenez in Sacramento, started out for almost two years meeting in his house. Pastor David Burson said that's pastoring up at Fresca Valley this morning is meeting in his house. Nothing wrong with the church meeting in the house, but here's the thing, when you go out soul winning, when you reach people, when you win people to Christ, the church grows and you outgrow the house. Then you could meet somewhere else whether you meet in a tent, or whether you meet in a building or a rented space. It doesn't really matter where you meet, it's the assembly of people that constitutes the church. Whether you're in a tent, under a tree, outside, inside, house, building, that's not the issue. The point is that you meet wherever you find a place. The so called house church movement, what it is is it's not really a church, they don't have a scriptural pastor, they definitely don't have and not adding a scriptural deacons. They have just a very small group, they're not reaching people, they stay small enough to meet in that living room until doomsday.
That's not what God has called the local church to be. God has not called the local church to be a social club that meets in somebody's living room over coffee. God has called the local church to be an institution for winning the lost to Christ, going out, knocking doors, reaching people, bringing people in. Therefore, it should be an institution that is growing. Our church has grown every year of its existence. Why? Because we're out knocking doors, we're serving God, we're reaching people. That is what the church is supposed to do. Now, I'm not saying that the church growth is going to be quick. Weeds grow really quickly, a tree that has actual value and integrity takes a long time to grow. The church's growth might take a long time, but there should be growth there. God should bless that church with growth, and souls should be saved and not only they should be saved, but people should be baptized. Then we should teach them to observe all things whatsoever. The Lord has commanded us.
Now, one of the things that the Bible teaches is the concept of tithing. A lot of people will be resistant to this and say, "Oh, all the church wants is our money." Now, first of all, I don't even think I've preached on this in a couple of years. I don't preach on this all the time, but it definitely needs to be preached because it is the truth from God's work. The thing is, one thing about our church is that our church is not a very money oriented church. For example, in eight and a half years of existence, we've never one time raised money for anything. We've never gotten up and said, "Hey, we're going to raise money. We're going to have a fund raiser." Or, "Hey, let's have a building fund. Hey, let's raise money for this, raise money for that. Hey, let's take up a special offering." We've never done it. In eight and a half years, I'm not against those who do it, I'm just saying we've never done it. We don't talk about money. The only time we take up offering, we just pass the plate every service and that's it.
We don't make a big deal out of it, we don't sit there and put a thermometer on the wall of trying to raise this much money and raise that much money. Again, I'm not attacking those who do, I'm just saying our church is not really that into money. Because the way our church has always operated is that if we have money, we use it, we spend it. If we don't, then we don't. God has always provided our church's needs, and in eight and a half years, we've never had any debt, we've never borrowed any money, we've never been unable to pay our bills, we've always had plenty of money. We've always been able to be generous in the sense that whenever we have any church activities, they're all free. Whenever we have preaching CDs, preaching DVDs, they're always given out for free. Everything's always free, we always try to be open handed and generous with people. Our church is not a money hungry church, but at the same time, to sit there and attack God's institution, the local church, or to attack tithing shows that your heart is in the wrong place.
Your heart might be on the unrighteous mammon of this world and that you're so attached to money that the idea of giving unto the Lord is somehow repugnant unto you. That kind of shows where your heart is this morning. If you don't like to hear about this, "Oh, I don't want to hear about that." Why are you greedy? Are you one that just doesn't want to be generous and give unto the Lord? Let's see what the bible says, look at Leviticus 27. Leviticus 27 says in verse 30, "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree is the Lord's. It is holy unto the Lord. And if a man will at all redeem out of his tithes, he shall add there to the fifth part there of. And concerning the tithe of the herder of the flock, even of whatsoever passive under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it and if he changed it all, then both it and the changed there of shall be holy. It shall not be redeemed."
These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai. We don't have time to go over every scripture on tithing in the bible but we're going to go over most of them this morning. Look at a lot of them and see what we can learn. The first thing that we learned in Genesis 14 is that the tithe was given unto the Lord. Then when we went to Genesis 28, we saw that the tithe was given at God's house at Bethel unto the Lord again. Now, why is the tithe given in the Lord? Because according to Leviticus 27:30, the tithe belongs to the Lord. It says in verse 30 there, all of the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, it is the Lord's. It is holy unto the Lord. Basically what it is, is that the tenth part in God's mind, in God's eyes belongs to him. Now, this concept goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden even.
When God gave man all manner of fruit trees, and he said in to them, "Of all the trees of the garden now may us freely eat, but of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, thou shall not to eat there up for in the day that they thou eateth there of thou shall surely die." What's he doing? He gives man access to all these trees, but he basically said, "You know, one of them is mine. Leave that one alone, okay?" Then we see of course, Abel, Cain and Abel. Abel, brings unto the Lord the firstlings of the flock. We often talk about Abel bringing a lamb to sacrifice. Which is true, he did bring of the blood of the lamb. That does picture Jesus Christ, but there's another underlying truth there that he says that he brought of the firstlings of the flock. The firstling or the first fruit is synonymous in the Bible with the tithe because it's the first tenth of whatever your field produces. Whatever the fruits and grain that are produced, the first tenth goes unto the Lord, that's the first fruits.
Or of the flocks, you have ten animals, you give the first one unto the Lord. That's the firstling, okay? The Bible teaches that Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock. This is the concept that actually spans the entire Bible. You got tithing already in Genesis 14 and Genesis 28 being explicitly mentioned before the law of Moses. For people to try to say this this is only an old covenant thing, the old covenant did not being until Mount Sinai with Moses. The law was given by Moses, but yet even before that, you have Abraham, Isaac and Jacob giving the tenth unto the Lord. Even before that, you have the concept giving with the firstlings of the flock of Abel, and with the trees of the Garden of Eden. Not only that, but in the book of Joshua, we see that there were ten major battles that were fought in taking over the land of Canaan. The first battle, the battle of Jericho, they were told, "Do not take any of the spoil. Do not take any of the gold and silver, and things that you find. They are holy unto the Lord."
If you remember Achan, son of Carmi, he saw the wedge of gold, the babylonian's garment. He stole those things, and he hid them under his tent and he was of course punished by the Lord, and punished by the congregation itself, stoned to death. Why? Because he has stolen from the Lord, and after that, they were told that they could take all the gold and silver and keep it. Did you notice that when you're reading Joshua? First battle, Jericho, they're told, "Hey, don't touch the gold. Don't touch the silver. That's holy unto the Lord." Most people obeyed, it was just one guy who didn't obey. Then after that, they're told, "Okay, other nine battles, take of the spoils. Take of the gold, take of the silver." It was only that first fruits, or firstlings of that first battle that was supposed to go unto the Lord, then in all things he should have the preeminent.
Now, notice in Leviticus 27 here where we read, it talks about not changing it for a good or bad, in verse 33. He should not search whether it be good or bad. What that means is, he didn't want them to go to their flock, and say, "I've got a hundred head of cattle here. I'm going to find the 10 worst ones, and I'm going to give it unto the Lord, the 10 that have problems." Here's the thing, he also didn't want them to go through and find the 10 best ones, because he says, "Don't exchange a good for a bad, but also don't exchange a bad for a good." He says it both ways. He said, "Don't just go through and find the 10 best. Your heart would be in the right place if you did that, or find the 10 worst because you're trying to give it unto the Lord, the worst thing that you have." He said, "You just pass them under the rod, just count them, and every 10th one, you give it to the Lord. Whether it's good or bad, you don't exchange it. You just randomly choose 10." Is what he's saying to do in that passage.
Go to Numbers, chapter 18. Numbers, chapter 18. Is tithing part of the law of Moses? Yes, but it was before the law of Moses. It already existed before, and it still exists after. I'm going to show you that in scripture this morning. Look at Numbers, chapter number 18. It says in Numbers 18:23, "But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their inequity. It shall be a statue forever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel, they have no inheritance, but the tithes of the children of Israel which they offer as an heave offering under the Lord. I have given to the Levites to inherit, therefore, I said unto them among the children of Israel, they shall have no inherited." According to this passage, the tribe of Levi did not inherit any land in the promise land.
Now, why would they need land? To grow food, to grow crops, or to raise animals, they're going to need to own some land. God said they're not going to inherit any land, but instead, they will live off of the tithes that are brought into the Lord. They're not going to go out and work the fields, instead, they're going to work in the house of the Lord, they're going to do the service of the tabernacle, they're going to make offerings and atonement for the people, they're going to preach unto the people, they're going to sing unto the people, all the things that are listed that the Levites did throughout the Old Testament. Now, there were 12 tribes of Israel, because Israel had 12 sons. If you remember, Joseph was given the double portion. Therefore, his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, they each got to inherit as if they were at their own tribe.
This is where some of the confusion of, "Is there 12 tribes? 13 tribes?" This is what it is. When it comes to the sons of Jacob, Levi was included and Joseph was included. When it comes to the inheritance, Levi got no inheritance, and instead his inheritance went unto one of the sons of Joseph. That way there would still be 12 pieces that the land would be divided into. That's how that works. Now, the Levites are serving the Lord, and they're living off the tithes that are given by the rest of the congregation. It makes sense because if everybody is giving 1/10th unto the Lord, and if there are about 11 other tribes that are doing the giving, and they're giving 1/10th, you can see how the math would work out that they would get enough. They would be taken care of. They would have what they need according to that system. Go to Deuteronomy chapter 14. Deuteronomy chapter number 14.
Just to quickly review, in Genesis 14, Abraham gave his tithe unto the Lord. He gave it unto Jesus Christ in the form of Melchizedek. In Genesis 28, Jacob brought his tithe unto the house of the Lord, Bethel, the place that he setup to be God's house. He also said that Bethel was a place where he setup a stone and a pillar, and he said, "This is going to be the house of the Lord." He setup a stone and a pillar. Why a pillar? The Bible says in the New Testament, "That thou may us know how to oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God." Listen to this, "The pillar and ground of the truth." That pillar represented the fact that God's house would be a pillar of the truth. Meaning, it would lift up the truth, support the truth, exalt the truth, and that it would be a stone because of course it's built upon the rock of Jesus Christ and the foundation of the Apostles of the land. That's why that symbolism is used.
Then in Leviticus, we saw that it goes onto the Levites to serve in the house of the Lord. The Levites serve, the priest serve, and they receive the tithes instead of having a normal income of farming or herding cattle. Look at Deuteronomy 14:22, it says, "Thou shall truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bring it forth year by year, and thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in a place which he shall choose to place his name there. The tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds, and of thy flocks, that thou may us learn to fear the Lord thy God always. If the way be too long for these, or that thou are not able to carry it, or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord the God have blessed Eden now shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shall go into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose."
A lot of people will say this. They'll say, "Tithing was never money." They'll say, "Tithing was only ever flocks, and herds, and fruit and vegetables." The reason for that is simply that, in those days, that was what they used for money. When you want to look at Job's wealth in chapter 1, it's measured in how many cattle he had, how many sheeps he had, how many goats he had, because that's their money. That's what they had. They had animals, they had fruits and vegetables. That was their wealth, but God does say that you can turn those things into money. If you had a huge crop come in, and you're thinking to yourself, "Good night how am I going to carry 1/10th of this onto Jerusalem? When I live hundreds of miles away, I don't want to bring all of this." He said, "You just turn it into money, and then just bring the money." Then it says in verse number 25, "Then thou shalt turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose."
Now let me ask you this, do you just bring the tithe wherever you want, according to the end of verse 25? Bring it wherever you want. Is that what it says? It says bring it where? The place where the Lord shall choose. It's not just bring it wherever you want, it's bring it to the place that the Lord shall choose. It says, "Thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after." What does that mean, thy soul lust after. Whatever you want. You can get there and buy what you want when you get there. For oxen, for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desire it, and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shall rejoice, thou in thy household, and the Levite that is within thy gates, thou shall not forsake him, for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. At the end of 3 years, thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase, the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates. The Levite, because he have no part nor inheritance with thee, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come and shall eat and be satisfied, that the Lord thy God may bless thee and all the work of thine hand which thou do it."
Notice the association constantly with the Levi, saying, "The reason you need to bring the tithe is for the sake of the Levi." Now, let me just explain to you this concept in Deuteronomy 14. What he is saying there, when he talks about, "You're going to bring it. You're going to spend it. You're going to eat it." and so forth. What they would do is, they're not coming to Jerusalem constantly, and they live far away. They're not coming Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night onto Jerusalem. What they would do is, they would have a big crop come in. They would bring 1/10th of that, or they'd bring 1/10th of the herd if it was practical to do so. If it was too far away, then they would sell that stuff, turn it into money, bring the money, and then buy the things that would be needed when they get there. Food, drink, whatever.
Again, we're not talking about alcoholic beverages when we use wine and strong drink there, that's a whole another sermon in of itself. They're going to show up, they're going to buy food and drink, they're going to buy these things, and it says, they're going to eat them with the Levites. What you see is, they're bringing a huge amount of stuff, because it's what they've gained over the course of years of increase, and they've set aside what is the tenth of it, turn it into money, they bring it down. Here's the thing, not only does it go into the Levites, but also they partake of it while they're there. Now, they're not going to take one tenth of just all the produce of their field for the whole year or years, and they're not just going to sit there and just, "I'm just going to eat it all myself right now, on this weekend." What they're doing is, they are eating it with the Levites.
It goes unto the Levites, but they get to eat of it too, they get to partake of it too. Also the poor, the widow, and the fatherless, they get to partake of it too. If you think about it, this is similar to what we would do at our church, where the tithes are given unto the Lord, but then also, the church members often partake of those things too. For example, if we have a meal after church, or when we provide food, that's why it's always free. Because the people who've given, they also get to eat of the tithe, that's actually a biblical usage of the tithe, would be to buy food that's eaten by all. Which is why we'll sometimes have barbecue after church, meals at church, church picnic, where the food is provided out of the money of the tithes. Then also for the poor and the fatherless, that would be like if we took of the tithe today, and there was a person who is destitute and poor and needed money and we gave them that charitable giving. That would be the same exact thing.
Look if you would at II Chronicles chapter 31. II Chronicles chapter 31, this is when a righteous king Hezekiah takes the throne. It says in II Chronicles 31:4, "Moreover, he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priest and the Levites that they might be encouraged in the law of the Lord." II Chronicles 31:5, "And as soon as the commandment came abroad, and the children of Israel brought in abundance, the first fruits of corn, wine and oil and honey, and of all the increase of the field. And the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah. They also brought in the tithes of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which was consecrated unto the Lord their God, and laid them by heaps. In the third month, they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the 7th month."
What are these heaps? It's just a stock piling of the food and beverages that are coming in. It says, "In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the 7th month, per se. When Hezekiah and the princess came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and his people of Israel. Then Hezekiah questioned with the priest and Levites, concerning the heaps. And Azariah, the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, "Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty. For the LORD has blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store." What we see in this story in II Chronicles 31 is that when the people brought of the tithes, there was plentiestness in God's house. There was an abundance in God's house. Here's what we learn from that, is that if the people bring the tithes unto the house of God, the church will always have enough money.
A lot of churches just want to go beyond this and raise massive amounts of money. Just raise huge amounts of money so that they can build giant buildings and palaces and do all kinds of things that the church isn't ready for. Or add additional staff, that the church is not ready to take on. What I see in scripture, is that if people will bring the tithe, there will be enough in God's house. It'll be enough. Obviously, if people are not tithing, there's not going to be enough. That's what God's teaching here. Because if you think about it, the needs of the church financially are greater, the bigger the church is. You're going to need a greater building, you're going to need greater staff. You're going to need more food at events and things like that. The smaller the church is, the less need the church has. It all works out on that percentage. We see in this passage that they're bringing the tithes, it's encouraging unto the Levites, and the law of the Lord and so forth.
Go to Nehemiah chapter 10. Just a few pages to the right in your bible. Nehemiah chapter- I'm just showing you throughout the scripture here, a lot of scriptures on tithing. Somebody recently said, that was attacking the doctrine of tithing, that the only book in the bible that teaches tithing is Leviticus. The only book in the bible that teaches tithing is Leviticus, they said. They said, "Well, somewhere else, just one other place in Malachi is just referring back to that in Leviticus." As you can see, it's actually taught in a lot of places in the scripture. Because you have it in Genesis, you have it in Leviticus, you have it in Numbers, you have it in Deuteronomy, then you see the examples of it all throughout the Old Testament. In places like II Chronicles 31. In places like Nehemiah, look at Nehemiah 10:37. It says, "And that we should bring the first fruits of our dough." There you go, there's money right there. No, I'm just kidding. Bring in the first roots of your dough in our offerings. The fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priest, to the chambers of the house of our God. And the tithes of our ground," watch this, "unto the Levites."
Pretty consistent, isn't it? That the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage. The priests, the son of Aaron, shall be with the Levites. When the Levites take tithes, and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes, unto the house of our God to the chambers into the treasure house. For the children of Israel, and the children of Levi, shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil under the chambers where are the vessels of the sanctuary and the priest administer and the porters and the singers we will not forsake the house of our God. Go to chapter 12. We see that the tithe is given unto the Levites and then the tithe of the tithe is given unto the priest. It says in verse number 44 of chapter 12, "You see what's the difference between a priest and a Levi?" The Levi tribe is a massive tribe of people, and they had to do a lot of service about the tabernacle. They preach the word of God, they were the singers, they also took down the tabernacle and put it back up again.
They cleaned the building, they offer the sacrifices, they taught the people, they did all manner of service. This menial service about the house to work. Then the priests themselves, they were a higher ranking group within the Levites. That were the ones who would actually make the morning and evening sacrifice and offer the burn offering before the Lord of the day of atonement in the high priest. They were the ones who actually did the actual sacrifice itself, the Levites were more of a helper or worker just sweep the floor, take down the building, put it back up again, whatever. They all had jobs, and they did teach and preach the word of God. They all had different jobs about the house of the Lord, all of the Levites. The Kohathites was one group within the Levites and they were given certain specific jobs. Then the Merarites were given certain jobs and that's all broken down in the Mosaic law.
In the chapter 12:44, it says, "At that time where some are pointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the first fruits, and for the tithes to gather into them, out of the fields of the cities, the portions of the law for the priest in Levites for Judah rejoice for the priest and for the Levites that waited. I perceived that the portion of the Levites had not been given." I'm sorry, I'm jumping ahead. Go to chapter 13. My notes didn't have a break there. Go to Nehemiah 13:10. Nehemiah 13:10 says, this is Nehemiah speaking, "And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them. For the Levites and the singers that did the work were fled everyone to his field." What happens when the tithe isn't given to the Levites? He's like, "I need to eat, I need to make some money. What did he do? He flees the house of the Lord, and he goes, and he has to go get a job working in the field. Because he's got to feed his family, he's got to make money somehow. Because he's not getting the tithes, he's got to go out into the field and get a job. That's what we see here in verse 10.
It says in verse 11, "Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place. Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries." This is Nehemiah getting angry that the tithe is not brought, now all the Levites are gone, all the priest are gone, because they had to go get a job, they can't be there in Jerusalem serving the Lord and the temple, tabernacle, the songs are not being sung, the preaching is not happening. The sacrifices are not being made by the priest and so forth, and the house is falling into disrepair. You know, there's so many times in the scripture when the bad king would come in and people turn away from the Lord, the house of God turns dilapidating and breaking down. Then they'd have to repair it, and they'd have to bring in carpenters and masons and metal workers, and rebuild the thing and fix all the breaches there up.
Now, if you would go to Malachi chapter number 3, Malachi chapter number 3. While you're turning to Malachi 3, I'm going to read for you a famous scripture that you're familiar with in Proverbs 3. You go to Malachi 3, but in Proverbs 3 it says, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." Listen to this, "Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." In Proverbs chapter 3, the bible tells us that if you will honor the Lord with your first fruits, if you will give unto the Lord the first fruits of your substance, the first fruits of your increase that God will fill your barns with plenty and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Now look at Malachi chapter 3, we're going to see something similar. It says in verse 8, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings." They say why is it robbery to not give the tithe unto Lord? Because remember in Leviticus 27, the bible said, "The tithe is the Lord's. The tithe is holy unto the Lord." When we withhold back from the Lord, that which He demands as his own, then the bible calls that robbing God here in Malachi 3:8. It says, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith," prove me now means test me now here, "saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts." What's God promising here? God's not promising that you're going to be a millionaire, or you're going to drive a Rolls-Royce. This isn't like the televangelist who will take these scriptures and they'll abuse this and twist this into say, "Hey, if you send us money," and they'll get on TV and say, "Hey, send us your money and if you send us a 100, God will give you a 1000. If you send us a 1000, God will give you 10,000. If you sow sparingly, you'll reap sparingly. If you sow abundantly, you'll reap abundantly. If you give the phone numbers on the screen right now, operators are standing by. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diner's. Just call in, make a donation, and look how God's blessing me. Look at all the rings on my fingers, look at the Rolls-Royce in the driveway, look at the Mercedes. Look at the Italian suit."
That's not what the Bible's teaching. You know what? What the Bible is teaching in here, here's why God says, "Test me. Bring me the tithe and I'll pour you out a blessing and I'll rebuke the devour and your fruit's not going to fall of the vine too early and rot on the ground." What's God saying? Here is exactly what's God's teaching you, He's saying this, "That you will live better or 90% than you will on a 100%." That's what he's teaching here, because people are thinking as, "Oh man, I can't afford to give 1/10th unto the Lord. Because I just need everything for myself." What God is promising to do is make up the difference, it's what he's promising to do. Because he's saying, "Look, if you rob me," because look what he says in verse 9, "Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." What the bible's teaching here is that, let's say you robbed God, let's say you withhold that tithe, and say, "Well, I'm not going to give a tithe unto the Lord, I'm not going to give anything in the Lord."
Then basically what he's going to do then, he's going to allow that amount to be lost through attrition. He's going to take it out on your hide as it were. For example, let's say you decide, "Hey, I'm not going to give the tithe unto the Lord." Let's say your tithe was supposed to be a $100. He could cause something to happen where you'll lose a 100 bucks. Think about it how many unexpected things happened in your life? Where you just lose huge amounts of money. Especially if you own a home. The water heater goes out, the plumbing starts leaking. The air conditioner breaks. The air conditioner breaks and it's like, $4,000 or something to get a new air conditioner. You know what? You live in Phoenix, it's kind of a necessity to have the air conditioner working. What I'm saying is these unexpected expenses hits you, especially medical expenses, the worst kind. You just get hit with unexpected expenses.
Here's the thing, God in heaven, God almighty, don't you think he's able to either cause you to not have those things come up or to cause those things to come up in your life. Then if you really believed, if you really trust in the Lord with all your heart, you really believe that he controls your destiny, and you actually believe that God is the one who holds your faith in his hand financial and otherwise, then you'd think to yourself, "Wait a minute, if I obey the Lord and if I give the Lord 10% of what I have, then God's going to bless me and I'm going to be better off. He's going to take care of me, he's going to provide my needs. He's not going to cause me to run out of money because I gave the 10% unto him. Uh, now I don't have enough money." God's not going to allow that. God didn't say just try it out, just test it out and I'll provide your needs.
He says, "Look, if you give the tithe, I'll bless you, I'll rebuke the devour for your sakes." Who's the devourer? The one that is constantly causing you to need car repairs, home repairs and medical repairs. You're just saying, "I believe his teaching. He'll make up the difference, and that you'll do better on 90% than on 10%." You say, "Pastor Anderson, how could I do better on 90% than on 10% or than a 100%." You say, "A 100%'s more money." Wait a minute, if you don't believe in God, then go with the 100% because it's more money. If you actually believed that the Lord in heaven determines whether you get a raise, or whether you lose money here or lose money there, then you'd trust the Lord and say, "You know, I'm better off obeying. Seek ye first, the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." Meaning food, drink, and a place to live.
Again, this isn't a health and wealth prosperity gospel, but what it is is just teaching that if you obey God, God's going to bless you and provide your needs. Where as if you don't obey God, you're going to end up losing it anyway. For example, let me give you a perfect example of this. The children of Israel were told to not only have a Sabbath day every week, but there were supposed to have a Sabbath year. When they farmed the land, they were supposed to only farm the land for 6 years, and then the 7th year, they'd let the land rest. Now, modern Science has proven that they're going to have better crops if they do that, because modern Science shows us that you do have to rest the land. You do have to let the land go wild a little bit in order to have that land not become depleted of nutrition and deplete the soil. God told them every six years, let the land rest for one year. They say, "What are we going to live on in that 7th year?" He said, "I'll give you triple in the sixth year and then you'll eat that to 6th year, the 7th year even into the 8th year, you'll still be eating that stuff while you're planting in the 8th year."
Here's what happened, the children of Israel they ignored God's Sabbath. You know how long they'd ignored it for? 490 years, so for 490 years, they didn't do that Sabbath year that they were supposed to do. For 490 years, they just completely ignored that. Here's what God said, he said, "Okay, you've ignored me for 490 years. That means we've missed 70 Sabbaths because every seven years, you were supposed to have one." He said, "You've missed 70 Sabbaths so here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to cause the King of Babylon to come in, destroy your city, destroy the temple, burn down your town and scatter you into all nations for 70 years, and then the land will rest for 70 years." He said, "I'm going to make up those 70 Sabbaths." He says in the book of Jeremiah, "Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths while the land lays desolate." He [inaudible 00:40:12] to be farming it because you guys are going to be gone. "Then after my 70 Sabbaths have been accomplished then you can come back." That's what happened, he brought back the people in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah after the 70 Sabbaths have been enjoyed.
You know what that story teaches? It shows that when God wants something, he's going to get it from you. If God decides in heaven, "Hey, 10% of what you have is mine." He's going to get it from you. Now if you give it unto him willingly, it's a blessing to you. If it's basically taken from you in a form of a curse, well then, everybody loses. The Levite and the priest loses, we don't have a Levite and priest, but we're going to get to that. Everybody loses. The church loses, you lose, God loses, and it's just a bad way to live your life. Let me say this, I could say that I've been tithing, go if you would to I Corinthians chapter 9. You say, when did you start tithing Pastor Anderson? I've started tithing when I started making money and that was when I was about four years old. I was not even saved. I've been tithing from before I was even saved.
When I was a little kid, my first allowance, who got an allowance when you were a little kid? My first allowance was 30 cents per week. Let me tell you something, 30 cents back then bought you more than what it buys today, okay? Back in the 80's. Now, who here has ever had an allowance lower than that? Mom and dad, what are you doing to me? I had the lowest allowance of all time? No, oh, you had one lower? 5 cents? Good night. All right, there's one in the mother baby room that ruined that illustration. No, I'm just kidding. How do you tithe on 5 cents? That's what I'd like to know. Your parents should at least give you 10. I remember I got an allowance, listen to me, I would get an allowance of 30 cents and my mom will give me a quarter and a nickel. That was my allowance. Here's the thing, I tithe on that. I had to turn that nickel into pennies. I would take 3 pennies, I'm not kidding, I would bring 3 pennies to church and throw 3 pennies in that offering plate. I did so every week. I did it religiously, and I did not missed it. I never skipped it. Ever.
Then my allowance was upped to 50 cents, and I would throw 5 cents in the plate every week. 5 cents, 5 cents. Then my allowance went up to a dollar, I would throw ten cents, ten cents. Then you know, you know how kids think? I went to my mom when I was young and I was getting a dollar a week. I said, "Mom, I want a raise in my allowance." She said, "Oh, well, you know, how much do you want your allowance raised to?" I said, "I want a dollar and eleven cents." She said, "What? Why do you want a dollar and eleven cents?" I said, "Well, because here's the thing, I want to be able to pay my tithe, and still have a buck." Right now, I'd pay my tithe and I get 90 cent, I don't have a whole dollar. I said, "If you just raise, I'm not asking for $2 here. I just want a dollar and 11 cents, because I can just throw in that, I knew it would go up to eleven, because I knew if get a dollar and ten cents, now I got to tithe 11. I was like, give me a dollar and eleven cents.
My mom said, "No." This is what she told me, "That will defeat the whole purpose of teaching you to tithe. Because then you'll just feel like this is just extra money that you're ... You know, it should feel like it's cutting into what was given unto you." I don't know if you understand what she meant by that, but she was trying to teach me, "No, that's what you do when you tithe." Because I'd get the bill and I'd have to go through the rig amoral of taking that dollar and turning it into change, unless I had other change that I could exchange for it, turn it into money, the exchange there of. Basically, it was just teaching me to cut into that dollar and throw that ten cents in. You know what I can honestly say? God has blessed me throughout my life, and God has taken care of me. You say, "You don't seem like you have a lot of money to me. Your house is old and dilapitated, and small. You share one vehicle." All my clothes are from the thrift store but you know what, is that really what life's about? No one can say God has not blessed me.
I have a wonderful, beautiful, amazing wife. I have 8 children. I have a wonderful church to be a Pastor of. I do have a house that is completely adequate and suitable for what we need. We don't need anything beyond ... You know people have fancy houses and everything but you know what, honestly our house is big enough for what we need. We have the vehicle we need. We have the house that we need. We have the clothes that we need. We do not lack anything. It would be wicked of us to complain that we lack anything because truly we don't. We have an abundance of healthy food. We have air conditioned place to live that fits our family. We have a vehicle to get us where we need to go, a nice vehicle that fits entire family. It's not that hard sharing a vehicle. Sometimes you can actually go somewhere on foot or on a bicycle, you might even survive heart disease and everything if you actually get a little exercise, its probably good for you. What I'm saying is that we have everything that we need and I feel like I've lived a blessed life.
I'm totally happy with everything God's given me. There's really not something I feel like I should've had that I didn't have. God's given me what I needed. I believe that part of the reason why is because as a little boy I just kept tithing. Then I grew up and became a teenager, got a job at Round Table Pizza, started tithing off that. I would tithe when my Dad would pay me for electrical work. I would tithe throughout my life at different jobs that I worked. I believe in this. I've done it my entire life. I see it in the bible from cover to cover and you say, Pastor Anderson everything you shown has been from the old testament. Lets go to I Corinthians 9 and let see a scripture from the new testament.
First of all, I know Hebrew 7 ... I don't want to focus to much on Hebrew 7, although I love the book of Hebrews. Hebrew is on of the hardest books in the bible. Lets face it. Out of all the books in the New Testament, Hebrews is probably the most complicated book. Great book, its a wonderful book. Its a little complicated, so I don't want to spend a lot time this morning ... And other sermons I've gone verse by verse, through Hebrew. I don't want spend a whole lot of time just expounding the intricacies of Hebrew 7 this morning just because its kind of a heavy passage, but its does talk about the fact that tithes were paid under Melchizedek who is actual Jesus Christ and later those tithes were paid under the Levitical priesthood, under the Levites and that priesthood is transferred from the Levites, unto the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek which is Jesus Christ and so forth.
The tithes are no longer received of the Levites and so forth. I don't want to spend a lot of time in that passage because not really that important for what we're preaching about right now.
Look at I Corinthians 9:3 What I want to show you in I Corinthians 9 ... Here's what you have to understand about the bible. There are definitely differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament, aren't there. Can anybody really say "Hey things are exactly same today as they were in ancient Israel and whatever God told us to do back then is the same stuff we should be doing now. Can anybody really say that on all subjects? No.
In the Old Testament their offering animal sacrifices. In the New Testament we look at Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God that's slain once for all and paid for our sins. In the Old Testament they had a physical building called the tabernacle or temple. That was the house of God where they would go and bring unto the Lord their tithes or go and bring animal sacrifice. We don't have that. In the Old Testament they had the Levitical priesthood. The bible says in the New Testament that there has been change of priesthood and that its no longer the Levitical priesthood, but is the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek, no longer is Aaron the high priest but Jesus is the high priest in the New Testament. No longer is Israel the holy nation. Now the holy nation is made up of all believers in Christ. Whether they be Jew or Gentile, there is no difference.
There's a lot of changes from Old Testament to New Testament. In the Old Testament the bible said under the Old Covenant that they should only eat certain meats and they would abstain from pork and abstain from shell fish. That was something that came in with the Mosaic law and the New Testament specifically changes. Before the Mosaic law they were allowed to eat all meat in Genesis 9. The principle that you should use when studying the bible is that anything in the Old Testament, meaning the first 39 books, unless God change it in the New Testament it still stands. Unless He said were not doing this anymore, then it stands. You can't just throw out the whole Old Testament and just throw it all out and say I'm only going with the New Testament only. That's not what the bible told us to do. What we should do is make the changes where said its changed.
What are some things he specifically changed? He specifically changed the dietary laws and told us we can eat all things. He specifically change about the Sabbath and flat out told us that we don't eat it during the Sabbath in Colossians 2. Here are also supporting passages in Romans 14 and Hebrews 4. Those are thing that specifically ... He specifically told us not to observe the feast and the New Moons and the Jewish holidays. He told us not to do those things. What about the things that are unchanged? They stand. For example, the Old Testament says not to marry your sister. Is that change? We're free in Christ. Think about the stupidity but that's how people are where they want to throw out the Old Testament. They'll say "oh, man quit trying to bring me into bondage. We're not under the law. We're free in Christ I can marry my sister, I can marry my aunt. If the bible tell not to look upon your grandma's nakedness. Has that changed? No. The bible says that a man should not put a woman garment. Has that changed? Now God's fine with men wearing dresses, "but where does the New Testament tell us not to put on dresses?" It doesn't have to because if God didn't change it it didn't change. Okay, now you say, "well has tithing been changed?"
First of all, there's no scripture in the New Testament that says "hey tithing is eliminated. Tithing's no longer happening." The only time that tithing is specifically mentioned, Jesus talks about Pharisees tithing and he says they were right when they tithed. He said, "you tithed on it and these things ought you to have done." He commended them on the tithing but then he rebuked them on stuff that they were not doing. There are two scriptures like that. Then there's Hebrew 7, which explains the tithe. Again, no where does it say, "hey tithe is no longer something we do". Therefore, just the operating principle is, if he didn't get rid of it its still there but has tithing changed in the New Testament? Yes, tithing has changed. I Corinthians 9 is a great scripture to show us that change of tithing. Look what it says in I Corinthians 9:3, "Mine answer to them that exam me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?"
Paul and Barnabas are apostles but they're at least 12 apostles and then there were 70 other apostles that he ordained. There were at least 82 apostles minimum in scripture. Okay, what Paul is saying here is that Paul and Barnabas they're unmarried. They are single guys and they work outside jobs. Paul was what, a tentmaker, right? Paul and Barnabas are a couple of single guys who work outside jobs but he's saying, "Look don't we have the power to eat and to drink and if we wanted to wouldn't we have the power to be married? And to have a family?" He's says, "That's what all the other apostles are doing." You know, Peter, James, John, Andrew, Phillip, all those guys were all married.
You know what married people have? You know what ever single married person in the Bible had? Children. Yeah, a wife ... They had a wife but every married person in the Bible had children. Here's the thing, you say, "Well Michal never had children". That's because her husband had multiple wives and he just went with the different one. That's a weird story. The bottom line is, that God saying that ministers of Lord have a right to be married, have kids, and have food and drink. Pretty radical concept. He's says, "Or I only and Barnabas, have we not power to forebear working." He's not saying forebear working like sit on his rear end all day. He's saying forebear working like not go out and get an outside job. He's saying that the rest of the apostles don't have jobs. Remember, Peter was a fisherman, right but after he started serving Jesus Christ full time he never he was told not to fish anymore. He wasn't supposed to fish anymore. People were like, "Oh the Pastor he's supposed to have an outside job". Like Peter, because Peter was a Pastor. Peter said, "I'm an elder of the church". Where as Paul and Barnabas were not Pastors. Peter was a Pastor.
Other apostles were Pastors. He called himself an elder. John called himself an elder. Which elder means bishop means pastor. Anyway, it says right here, verse 7,"Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth the a flock, and eateth not of milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? Or saith not the law the same also?" Wait a minute. Why are you bringing up the law of Moses? It's totally irrelevant. Is that what it says here? No, because even if things in the law have changed in the New Testament, we still learn from them.
All scripture is profitable for doctrine. All scriptures [inaudible 00:55:09] inspiration of God. He says, "This what the law of Moses says". Verse 9, "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ". Now watch verse 13, "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel".
According to the New Testament doctrine, he said, "Look, in the Old Testament the people worked at the house of God, the people who ministered about the temple". In verse 13, he said they live of the things of the temple. Meaning, that's what they live off of. They live off of the tithes and offerings. He said, "even so the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel". Meaning that, people should preach the gospel and live of that income. That's their full time job, is to be a preacher. It's okay for a preacher to have an outside job if he so desires. If he wants to be a Paul and Barnabas type of a guy. Of course those are single guys. A little easier to do both when you're a single guy. The bottom line is that what the Bible is teaching here is that just as ... I mean what does it mean even so? In verse 14, just as the Levites and the priests in the Old Testament lived of the things of the tabernacle, even so have the Lord ordained that they would preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
There you go. No elimination of tithing in the New Testament. You say, "well Pastor Anderson, I'm not convinced. I think tithing is an Old Testament doctrine and I'm not going to tithe". No problem. Here's the thing, no one's going to force you to tithe. Our church as never forced anyone to tithe and we're not going to sit there and say "According to our records you haven't been tithing". There's so much cash that comes in that nobody is going to know if you're tithing or not because, you know, maybe you're putting in cash. Maybe you're putting in a check. Nobody cares whether you're tithing or not, okay. Here's the thing, if nobody, let's say nobody in our church tithed ... Here's the thing, obviously most people in our church tithe, the vast majority.
Here's the thing, let's say all of a sudden nobody tithed. They're like, "Pastor Anderson, I heard your sermon and I've decided to quit tithing, you know, from that sermon." Let's say, nobody tithed. Do you know what would happen? Do you know what would happen? Our church would still exist. Our church would still continue. I'd have to go back to the field and go work a secular job to pay for the 10 people in my family. Eventually we wouldn't be able to pay for this building anymore. We would basically have to, you know, meet outside but that would be possible. To meet outside and we could do all that. It's not a question of hey we need your money because you know what? We don't.
When you don't tithe all you're doing is shooting yourself in the foot. That's all you're doing. For that 100 bucks or whatever on your paycheck or that 150 bucks a week or whatever it is that you, you know, whatever that tenth is. Whatever that is, when you keep that for yourself that's not going to do you any good in life. That extra money that you make it's not going to make you live a better life. In fact, you're going to be cursed. Whereas if you give unto the Lord, the tithe, God promised to bless you. I rather have a little less money coming into my account every week and just know, hey God's blessing me. If you have any faith in the Lord and in the word of God, there you go. Plus you'll know that you're supporting the work of the Lord's house. Now here's the thing, some people go to the most ... and its amazing tithing, it does a lot of things. One of the things that tithing does is it gets you to go to church. A lot of these people who don't go to church, its like well are you tithing? Obviously not.
Now its a compound sent. At least tithing also gets you to come down here because at least you come down here to put in your tithe, is one thing you do. Now here's the thing, if you go to some apostate church that's not preaching the gospel and you put in your tithe, are you really giving it to the Lord? You're giving it to the wrong team. What the Bible is teaching too it gets you into the right church so that you can give your tithe and feel like okay this is going to Melchizedek, you know, I'm not giving in to some false prophet of Baal here. I'm going to give in unto the Lord.
Tithing gets you to come to the right church and show up and be there and bring your tithe and do that. It allows you to be blessed of the Lord and blessed by God and just to see God bless you for your obedience. That's all it is. If you're not convinced well then don't be convinced but you know what I've [inaudible 01:00:32] for a long time. I just showed you all the evidence. We went through all the scriptures and I think its pretty clear that its goes before the law of Moses and after the law of Moses. It's not just a Mount Sinai thing. Its never repealed in the New Testament and that he flat out compares it and says well you know Levites lived off that money in the Old Testament well now its those who preach the gospel and the New Testament that are going to live off those funds.
Obviously I already told you where the money goes. It goes to pay my salary. It goes to pay for the building. It goes to pay for the activities and you know the CDs and DVDs, Bibles that we give out to people. Just the materials of the house of the Lord. I challenge you if you're one who does not tithe to prove God herewith. You know, and see if He will pour out a blessing and you know what? Honestly, people will sometimes say I can't afford to tithe. Here's the thing, if you're really poor and you don't make any money, your tithe is really small. How can you not afford it? It's not even that much money. Here's the thing, if you make a ton of ... and you're like, "You don't understand Pastor Anderson, I make so much that I can't tithe because it would be such a huge amount. I'm not going to give that huge amount. I mean that's really ridiculous".
Here's how you always make sure that you can afford to tithe; you give it first. That's why its called the firstling, the first fruit. How can you not ... I don't have the money. If you give it first its always there. You give it first and then you're like, okay what do I have left. That's what the Bible teaches and I encourage you to prove God herewith if you don't believe in it. Then God encourages you to put him to the test.
Let's bow our heads in a word of prayer:
Father we thank you so much for word Lord and we thank you so much for just blessing us and taking care of us. Lord, thank you that we live in America and that we actually have an abundance in America. We have prosperity. We have nice things. We live in comfortable, air conditioned houses. We eat healthy, nutritious food, Lord. Thank you for our church and God I especially want to thank you this morning that over the last eight and a half years our church has always had enough money and we've never run out of money, Lord. And sometimes it seemed like we were going to but we just never have. We've always had enough money, Lord. I thank you for just providing our needs all the time and allowing us to be able to have a nice building to meet in and just to be able to do all the things we've done. Lord just continue to bless our church and in Jesus name we pray.